Seoul, South Korea
The United States and South Korea fired four missiles off the east coast of the Korean peninsula on Wednesday morning local time, according to South Korean officials.
The test was the second allied exercise in less than 24 hours, after neighbor North Korea launched a provocative test on Tuesday morning, firing a ballistic missile at Japan without warning as part of a major weapons test program.
The US and South Korea initially responded to the provocation with a precision bombing exercise on Tuesday, in which a South Korean F-15K fighter jet fired two surface-to-air munitions at a virtual target at a firing range west of the Korean peninsula. According to the joint leaders of South Korea.
Allies typically respond to North Korea’s missile tests with military exercises.
Wednesday’s launch included four ATACMS missiles, South Korea’s joint chiefs said. Also known as Army Tactical Missile Systems, such weapons are surface-to-surface missiles that can fly up to 200 miles (320 kilometers).
According to John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, it was designed to demonstrate that the US and its allies have “military capabilities ready to respond to provocations from the North.”
“This is not the first time we’ve done this to make sure we can demonstrate our capabilities in response to provocations from the North,” Kirby told CNN’s Pamela Brown on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
“We want to see the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula (North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) has shown no desire to move in that direction, in fact, he is moving in the opposite direction by continuing to carry out these missile tests that are violations of the Security Council resolutions,” he added.